Shenandoah City Council maintains opposition to Research Forest overpass

The Shenandoah City Council has opted not to support a plan to construct an overpass at Research Forest Drive and Grogan's Mill Road following a discussion of the project a council meeting March 27. The council's opposition hurts the project's chances to receive federal funding during this round of Houston-Galveston Area Council's 2013-2016 Transportation Improvement Plan projects.

The council voted 4-1 against the removal of the opposition after Precinct 3 County Commissioner James Noack voiced his support of the project and more than half a dozen residents expressed concerns in opposition of the overpass.

Noack said his engineering firm believes there is a need for this project due to the nearby development of Hughes Landing, the Chicago Bridge and Iron expansion project, the proposed Hyatt hotel and growth in Town Center. He said he was surprised to learn Shenandoah was not made aware of the project sooner and emphasized the need for better communication and for South Montgomery County municipalities to work together.

"I'd like for you to think about the future of the county, about the future of Shenandoah," Noack said.

Mayor Wes Stephens said the council's initial opposition to the overpass was due to a lack of knowledge about the project and its impact, admitting the nearby area of the intersection will change in the near future.

"Any way you look at it, there's three or four high rise buildings going into that area," Stephens said. "That intersection is not going to be the same intersection."

Bleyl & Associates—the firm hired by the city to examine the project—expressed concern initial components of the project, such as environmental studies, are incomplete. Residents questioned whether turn lanes, better light signalization and other improvements could alleviate traffic congestion at the intersection, while many said the benefits of the project did not outweigh the potential problems the overpass could create.

Residents also produced a petition signed by more than 100 residents of The Woodlands and Shenandoah in opposition of the project, which Shenandoah City Administrator Greg Smith said had been sent to The Woodlands Township President Don Norrell.

Smith said The Woodlands Development Company approved the city's request to add a u-turn lane to the project and to allow the city to participate in future discussions regarding the project. While an environmental study on the overpass' effect on the community had not been performed, he said, the study would have to be part of the project in the future once funding had been identified.

The city's opposition to the project could prevent it from receiving federal funding in the near future. However, Smith said, federal money is not the only source which could fund the project, citing The Woodlands Township, The Woodlands Road Utility District No. 1 and The Woodlands Development Company as possible funding sources.



MOST RECENT

The 1,535 new cases is the second largest number of new cases to be reported in a single day in the county, behind only the 1,994 cases reported June 22. (Community Impact Staff)
Harris County coronavirus count: 1,535 new cases, six deaths confirmed July 7

See the latest data on COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations in Harris County.

Steve Bezner, senior pastor of Houston Northwest Church on Hwy. 249, is one of four pastors who are urging pastors across the region to work together in seeking unity. (Anna Lotz/Community Impact Newspaper)
4 Houston-area pastors take steps urging racial unity across region

"We wanted to unite as many pastors as possible around some basic common denominators that we felt like could make a real impact in our city and move some things forward in the area of racial injustice in our city," said Jason Shepperd, the lead pastor of Church Project in The Woodlands.

The Texas Education Agency released guidelines about on-campus activities, attendance requirements, and health and safety precautions for the 2020-21 school year. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Texas Education Agency issues guidelines for 2020-21 school year

The guidelines address on-campus activities, attendance requirements, and health and safety precautions that should be enforced at Texas schools this year.

Grand Oaks Elementary School will open in August and will accommodate 900 students. (Courtesy LAN)
CONSTRUCTION UPDATE: Tomball ISD elementary school, agricultural science project center to open in August

Two projects from Tomball ISD's bond referendum in 2017 are slated to wrap up in August with additional facilities complete by summer 2021.

Montgomery County health officials are urging residents to wear face masks and practice social distancing. (Community Impact staff)
Montgomery County reports slight decrease in active coronavirus cases July 7

The total number of COVID-19 cases in Montgomery County increased by 104 from 2,550 on July 6 to 2,654 on July 7.

Memorial Hermann Texas Medical Center was rated the No. 1 hospital in Houston by the Massachusetts-based Lown Institute. (Ben Thompson/ Community Impact Newspaper)
Memorial Hermann Health System hospitals rank in top 10 in the nation

Six of the top 10 hospitals in the Houston area are part of the Memorial Hermann Health System.

Shows are scheduled every Thursday through July and early August. (Courtesy The Woodlands Township)
Rock the Row announces summer show series

Free concerts are still scheduled at Hughes Landing for Rock the Row.

(Courtesy Blessings Assisted Living Home)
Blessings Assisted Living Home set to open soon

A new senior living facility is taking residents in The Woodlands.

Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller recently backed a movement calling for the reopening of winery and distillery tasting rooms and brewery and brewpub taprooms. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Museum scales back reopening, bar owners react to second shutdown and more: Houston-area business, community news

Read the latest news from the Greater Houston area on Community Impact Newspaper’s website.

In-person appointments for driver license renewal and replacement are now being offered at driver license offices across the state. (Nicholas Cicale/Community Impact Newspaper)
Texas driver license offices reopen for in-person renewal, replacement services

The second phase of reopening announced July 7 expanded services offered at driver license offices.

New guidelines released by ICE require foreign students to take mostly in-person classes to stay in the U.S. on education visas. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
New U.S. guidelines require exchange students to take in-person classes this fall

The guidelines released by ICE require foreign students to take mostly in-person classes to stay in the U.S. on education visas.